DBMS: Introduction to Database

What is Data?

In simple words, data can be facts related to any object in consideration. For example, your name, age, height, weight, etc. are some data related to you. A picture, image, file, pdf, etc. can also be considered data.

What is Database?

database is an organized collection of data, so that it can be easily accessed and managed.

You can organize data into tables, rows, columns, and index it to make it easier to find relevant information.

Data within the most common types of databases in operation today is typically modeled in rows and columns in a series of tables to make processing and data querying efficient. The data can then be easily accessed, managed, modified, updated, controlled, and organized. Most databases use structured query language (SQL) for writing and querying data.

relational database is a type of database that stores and provides access to data points that are related to one another.  It uses a structure that allows us to identify and access data in relation to another piece of data in the database. Often, data in a relational database is organized into tables.

SQL Server And Relational Database - Part One

A good database is crucial to any company or organisation. This is because the database stores all the pertinent details about  the company such as employee records, transactional records, salary details etc.

Why use a database?

  • Databases can store very large numbers of records efficiently (they take up little space).
  • It is very quick and easy to find information.
  • It is easy to add new data and to edit or delete old data.
  • Data can be searched easily, eg ‘find all Ford cars’.
  • Data can be sorted easily, for example into ‘date first registered’ order.
  • Data can be imported into other applications, for example a mail-merge letter to a customer saying that an MOT test is due.
  • More than one person can access the same database at the same time – multi-access.
  • Security may be better than in paper files.

Database uses

When a database holds details about people, it’s likely to include their first name, surname and their date of birth. In addition to this, specialist information is stored depending on the database’s intended use.

Organisations use databases for a variety of reasons:

  • the police have details of all known criminals in a database, eg crimes they’ve comitted
  • schools use a database to store details about their pupils, eg how many days they’ve been off school sick
  • a hospital will store details of all its patients in a database, eg a history of their health issues
  • the Government uses a database to store records of people’s income tax payments
  • a database is used to keep track of all the drivers in central London who have (or haven’t) paid the Congestion Charge

In the case of the Congestion Charge database, if someone hasn’t paid the congestion charge, a fine will be issued. The database would play an integral part in automating the process.

Information stored in the other databases listed could be used in similar ways.

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